Research Rural Suicide Therapies — 02 July 2018

DAIRY farmer Steve Germon knows what it’s like to be on the brink of suicide. He has been there twice in the past three years.

He can’t remember what saved him in 2015, but those lonely ­moments last year when he walked into a paddock on his farm near Taree, on the state’s north coast, are still fresh in his mind.

He’d left a suicide note on the porch for his family and then stood in the paddock putting down calves that he could no longer afford to feed. 

Fourth-generation dairy farmer Steve Germon and daughter Jessica check on their “green drought” pasture and herds.

He was about to turn the gun on himself when a ute screamed towards him, his 17-year-old daughter at the wheel.

“Jessica read the note and literally came to save my life,” Mr Germon, 47, said.

Now, Mr Germon is proudly “out of that dark place”, but his troubles haven’t completely settled.

He has a $74,000 grain debt, has recently separated from his wife, and Jessica’s school grades have slipped because she’s up at 4.30am every day to help milk the cows.

Mr Germon’s farm is suffering from what he calls a “green drought”. 

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